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BOLD PREDICTIONS: Week 13

Ben Roethlisberger will throw for 400 passing yards, three touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers this week.

My thinking: In his last three games, Ben Roethlisberger has averaged 368 passing yards and 27.8 fantasy points per game. In five home games this year, he’s averaged 312 passing yards and 26.5 fantasy points per game. He’ll be going up against a Los Angeles Chargers defense in Week 13 that has done a tremendous job (on paper) defending opposing quarterbacks this season. Los Angeles ranks seventh in passing yards allowed per game (244), tied-eighth in passing touchdowns allowed (16), and third in fantasy points allowed per game (15.2) to opposing quarterbacks this season. Pretty good, right? The problem with those numbers is they are skewed because of the competition Los Angeles has faced this season. Here is a list of some of the quarterbacks the Chargers defense has faced this season:

Week 2 – Josh Allen

Week 4 – C.J. Beathard

Week 5 – Derek Carr

Week 6 – Baker Mayfield

Week 7 – Marcus Mariota

Week 9 – Russell Wilson (OK, he’s good)

Week 10 – Derek Carr

Week 11 – Case Keenum

Week 12 – Josh Rosen

Yeah, now it makes sense why their numbers against opposing quarterbacks look so good. Excluding Russell Wilson, none of the other seven quarterbacks listed above are in the Top 20 in average fantasy points per game among quarterbacks this season. It’s not that the Los Angeles defense is terrible, it’s that it hasn’t gone up against an above-average offense in quite some time. That’s going to change this week when the Chargers travel to face the high-powered Pittsburgh offense. Expect Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster to all have big games this week as Pittsburgh will look to bounce back after a tough loss to Denver in Week 12. Expect a monster performance out of Roethlisberger in what is shaping up to be an offensive slugfest on Sunday Night Football.

Kareem Hunt will have 175 total yards and two touchdowns against Oakland this week.

My thinking: It’s hard to believe Kareem Hunt has only eclipsed 100 rushing yards in just one game this season (Week 4 at Denver). Hunt is having a fantastic sophomore season through the first 12 weeks of the season. He’s averaging 109.3 total yards per game and has scored a whopping 14 touchdowns in 11 games. He enters Week 13 with a total of 234.2 point per reception (PPR) points, which ranks eighth in the NFL among running backs, and now gets to square off against a weak Oakland defense this week. Oakland has allowed the most rushing yards per game (134.6) and the 11th-most PPR fantasy points per game (26.8) to opposing running backs this season.

This game has blowout written all over it. Fresh off a bye week, the dynamic Kansas City offense is going to blow the doors off of Oakland and get out to a big lead early in the game. That means Kansas City will have plenty of garbage time carries available to Hunt in the second half when the game is out of hand. Hunt should have no problem carving up Oakland’s defense, so expect the second-year player out of Toledo to have one of his best fantasy performances of the year this week.

Phillip Lindsay will have 125 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati this week.

My thinking: Lindsay is having a remarkable rookie season in the NFL. Lindsay has averaged 15.8 PPR fantasy points in 11 games, which ranks 11th among running backs, and now gets to go up against a porous Cincinnati defense in Week 13. The Cincinnati defense has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game (118.7), fifth-most rushing touchdowns (11), and the second-most PPR points per game (32.3) to opposing running backs this season. Cincinnati has been flat out awful defending the run, so expect the Denver offense to feature Lindsay early and often in this game. A heavy dose of Lindsay will equate to a bevy of fantasy points, so make sure you consider using him in your daily (DFS) lineup on DraftKings, as well.

Aaron Jones will have 125 rushing yards and a touchdown against Arizona this week.

My thinking: This prediction has everything to do about the matchup and the projected game-flow that we’ll see in this game. Green Bay needs to win all five of its remaining games to have a chance at making the playoffs, so you should expect Green Bay to come out guns-blazing in an attempt to blow out this below-average Arizona team. A Green Bay blowout over Arizona could provide this team with a jolt of energy that could help it in the final month of the season.

Green Bay has averaged 27.8 points per game in five home games this season, compared to 20.8 points per game in six road games. Green Bay has always been a better home team than road team, so bank on the Green Bay offense to get out to an early lead in this game and use Aaron Jones to finish the job in the second half. Jones should have one of his best fantasy performances of the season in a highly favorable matchup against the sieve that is the Arizona defense. The Arizona defense has surrendered a whopping 132.2 rushing yards per game (31st), 14 rushing touchdowns (32nd), and an average of 31.6 PPR points per game (29th) to opposing running backs this season. Arizona has been flat-out horrible defending the run and Jones has the talent to carve Atlanta up on the ground. Consider him a mid-level RB2 for the rest of the season with mid-level RB1 upside for Week 13.

Josh Doctson will have six receptions for 90 receiving yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia this week.

My thinking: It’s been a rocky road for Josh Doctson in his first three seasons in the NFL. After missing the bulk of his rookie season in 2016 with an injury, Doctson played in all 16 games in his sophomore season in 2017, tallying 35 receptions (on 78 targets) for 502 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He has the talent, he just hasn’t been able to completely put it all together yet. Let’s also not discount the fact that Doctson has had to catch passes from Alex Smith and Colt McCoy this season, neither of whom are regarded as high-quality quarterbacks.

The third-year player out of TCU has recorded 32 receptions (on 56 targets) for 334 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 10 games this season. He’s averaging 7.7 PPR points per game but has seen an uptick in targets over the last two weeks. He saw seven targets in Week 11 and ten targets (from Colt McCoy) in Week 12, which is a positive sign for his Week 13 outlook against a struggling Philadelphia defense that is decimated by injuries in their secondary. The Philadelphia defense has allowed an average of 15.5 receptions and 201 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers, both of which rank 31st in the NFL entering Week 13. It’s an enticing matchup for this Washington offense, which makes Doctson an appealing WR3/Flex play and a sneaky-good DFS option at his $4,500 price tag on DraftKings.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.